Are there not times when a blessing from God requires something of the recipient?
Sometimes, it may require more than we’re willing to do. Or forsake.
Sometimes, it’s a disruption. A disruption to the norm. To our schedule. Our routine. Our plans.
Sometimes, there’s a cost. More than monetarily. It might cost you time. Comfort. Ease.
Sometimes, it’s a matter of being willing to take a risk.
Abraham took the risk to leave his family and go to a foreign land—to receive the gift of God.
For Joshua, the blessing of God required trust and courage on the battlefield.
Jeremiah risked approval and his reputation—even his very life—to be faithful to deliver the word of the Lord.
The blessing of salvation required the perfect obedience and atoning sacrifice of Jesus.
And the blessing of the growth of the church required the apostles leave it all behind to share the gospel.
They were all willing to do the will of God, by the power of the Spirit, to receive the blessing of the Son.
Are you willing to do what it takes?
It may not be something grand or heroic.
It might be something as simple (yet substantial) as giving up an activity for the family to go to church on Sunday.
It might be giving up a lazy Saturday morning of sleeping in to go serve someone in need.
And the blessing itself may not be monumental, either. But the fact that it’s personal makes it priceless.
A gift of God recently presented itself to me. But, for me to receive it, it requires time and labor. I am willing to do whatever is required—because the cost of losing the blessing is greater than the cost of gaining it. (Again, I’m not speaking in monetary terms here.)
It’s still a blessing—even though it asks something of me. Because it’s something I couldn’t have gotten on my own—even with time and effort. Its significance lies in the fact that it is gifted from my loving Father.
Why, God’s daily gift of manna required the people go out and gather it!
So, I’m not working to earn it. It’s a gift God has already offered. I just have to want it. More than I want whatever is required to gain it.
More times than not, isn’t that what’s really required of us? Willingness?
Gaining a blessing of God may require the giving over of my will for God’s. Swapping my will for His. Wanting what He wants.
Some blessings require a giving over of my will to do the will of God.
Receiving the blessing of abundant life in the Son comes with the call to “deny self” (Luke 9:23) and to willingly carry what He places upon us.
God, in grace, freely and generously gives blessing upon blessing—to simply be received in faith and gratitude. The greatest grace was that of giving the blessing of life in His Son. And God’s good, perfect, and pleasing will is that we follow Him. To those He called, Jesus was forthright in explaining the cost of discipleship (Luke 14:25ff). The decision required honest consideration. And, when heeded, the commitment of a lifetime.
“In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have
cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:33).
The apostles experienced persecution, famine, and sword. They faithfully lived a sacrificial, nomadic life that was hard. But that doesn’t mean it was void of blessing. In fact, God blessed them with all that was required to receive and impart His blessings.
Life can be hard—and yet blessed. For hope in the promised life yet-to-come is, in itself, a blessing beyond measure.
A blessing may ask something of you. And it may cost you. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a blessing. Be willing to do what it takes. For whatever may be required can be considered profitable, just for knowing the Father through the process of receiving.